Beacons Head of Commercial Operations, Richard Judge talks to Boutique Hotelier magazine about how to negotiate like a pro and how to ensure you are getting the best deal for your business.
By Richard Judge, Head of Commercial Operations at Beacon
How can hoteliers scope out the best suppliers?
The importance of thorough research really cannot be overstated. Take the time to visit supplier premises and meet with your contacts before any decisions are made. The next step is to carefully analyse the hotel’s needs and demands, ensuring any new suppliers are able to meet them. For example, do they have the products needed and can they get them constantly? Or do they reach the service levels that you need to run your business? In my experience, another good source of referral that is often overlooked by operators is in the competition. Do not be afraid of asking a select few competitors where they are sourcing products from as a starting point for finding new suppliers.
When we work with customers looking to switch suppliers, one of the most important things we stress is not to expect perfection from day one. Once you’ve made the change, allow time for both you and your suppliers to adapt to your business needs. At Beacon we can help with all elements of the implementation and change process.
How should hoteliers approach new suppliers to get the best deals?
Outside of working with Beacon, our advice would be to ask for a blind quote first and foremost on key lines that will be required, before beginning any price negotiations. Within this quote, be sure to include low value and low volume products so you are negotiating a comprehensive ‘price file’ that meets all of the hotel’s needs. Remember, whilst a 10% saving on 70% of what you purchase may be compelling, if the remaining 30% increases by 20% then there is no overall saving at all. Try to cover as many of your needs as possible during the negotiation stages to ensure the most accurate prices.
What would be your advice to hoteliers if they feel they aren’t getting the best from their suppliers?
Hoteliers that are unhappy with the service from their supplier should firstly ask themselves why they are dissatisfied. Is it the price, the service, the sales representative, or is there simply a better offer available? Our advice to hoteliers in this situation would be to meet with their existing suppliers, keeping all of the above questions in mind, and be completely open with their concerns, giving them the opportunity to resolve the issues. In our experience, this can often lead to some of the best supplier deals. Remember that any change in supply chain requires major thought with regards to the change management process, along with consideration for the wider reaching impact on the business.
To view the full article in Boutique Hotelier magazine, click here (page 39).
To find out how to join around 2,000 business already benefiting from the purchasing expertise of the Beacon team, click here
or call the Beacon team on 01904 695588